April 21, 2009 in Region

Warm temperatures speed fruit blooms

Associated Press
 

WENATCHEE — Some fruit growers in Eastern Washington may have to do a lot of work in a short time, with warm temperatures speeding the bloom on trees.

Apple orchards in north-central Washington had been on track to reach full bloom in early May, much later than normal. Now, warm temperatures this week may speed the process.

Tim Smith, a Washington State University tree fruit extension agent, says things are going to catch up fast. That means growers will have less time to apply pesticides and other sprays, and bees will have less time to transfer pollen.

Poor pollination can have a dramatic effect on fruit quantity and quality. But Smith says the benefits of the warm weather override the concerns.

Information from the Wenatchee World.

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